Traveling overseas: Guide to a safe and healthy overseas trip
Traveling overseas: Guide to a safe and healthy trip

Traveling overseas: Guide to a safe and healthy trip

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

What to know before traveling overseas.

Be aware of money in different cultures

Many people in other countries look at Americans as being wealthy in comparison to themselves. They may pull out the red carpet and find it hard to understand that you might be scraping the bottom of the barrel for your vacation experience. Wealth however is relative, and to a houseboy in Bali we are indeed much better off. A $50 tip in Bali could represent a month’s wages in some instances.

You will be taking on an exciting challenge

When traveling anywhere new, you have the opportunity to view the world from an entirely new perspective. Some things you can learn about are:

  • People. You’ll no doubt come home with the knowledge that all people of the world are amazingly alike despite the obvious differences. Children especially the same in all countries and it is only as we become older that cultural differences start to show.
  • Laws. Remember you are not at home now and no matter whether you agree with the laws or not you are obliged to abide by them. If you do not you will displaying an unwelcome arrogance and could suffer a stern penalty.
  • Clothing. In the US, we are used to a very liberal tolerance as far as clothing is concerned. We can move around freely dressed and not think anything about it – some attire can be quite offensive in some countries.
  • Customs. In some places leaving your shoes on can be severely frowned upon, while at the same time, showing of bare arms or bare feet are definite no-nos. Even the hand you eat from can cause concern in some middle east countries.
  • Religion. When visiting religious sites many of these customs are strictly enforced. It is advisable to take a long sleeved jumper with you at all times, even in the heat of summer.

Compare travel money

Updated November 15th, 2018
Name Product Currency Conversion Fee Annual Fee APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
None
$0
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
None
$250
See Rates & Fees
25,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
None
$550
None (Charge Card)
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & Fees
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% variable
Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
None
$95
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Enjoy a $0 annual fee on the first year and earn up to 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases. Rates & Fees
None
$195
16.99% variable
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
None
$0
14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
None
$495
16.99% variable
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
None
$995
16.99% variable
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
None
$0
13.99% variable
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
None
$0
16.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn a signup with a $250 value (25,000 online bonus points) after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days from account opening
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
None
$450
17.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Compare up to 4 providers

Promoted
Travelex Money Card

Why we like: Travelex Money Card

Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.

  • Not linked to your bank account for safety.
  • Convert currency with a 5.50% Foreign Exchange Fee
  • Contactless payments
  • Reload, withdraw, or replace your card for free.

    Don’t forget your health insurance

    Make sure you adequate health insurance that will protect you under all circumstances. Not all countries of the world practice the same basic health practices, and because of this you could be vulnerable to many illnesses you haven’t even heard of back home.

    Details Features
    Atlas Premium
    Atlas Premium
    Comprehensive coverage with higher limits and a range of additional benefits.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $2,000,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $400
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Max
    Travelex Travel Max
    The most comprehensive protection plan offered by Travelex. Offers optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $100,000
    • Baggage coverage: $2,500
    • Trip delay: $1,000
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    Coverage includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $15,000
    • Baggage coverage: $750
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to $500
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Standard International
    STA Travel Standard International
    Affordable coverage for the essentials needed when traveling outside of your home country.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: $25,000
    • Medical evacuation & repatriation: $250,000
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to $250
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    Increased limits of coverage, plus trip interruption insurance worth 150% of the trip cost.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $50,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Not 100% sure you're going to make your trip? Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available with the Travel Select plan.
    • Reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost
    • Must cancel within 48 hours before scheduled departure
    • Offered on trips with a maximum value of $10,000
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Travel
    Atlas Travel
    Customizable policy that balances between the basic essentials and premium coverage.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $2,000,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $500
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Comprehensive coverage for the cost of your trip, your medical expenses and your belongings.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $250,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $2,500
    • Trip delay: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Choose the coverage amount that meets your needs. Baggage and trip delay protection included.
    • Flight accident AD&D: Up to $1,000,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: $10,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Medical evacuation & repatriation: $100,000
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    Premiere coverage for a range of travel mishaps with additional riders for sports and other leisure activities.
    • Trip cancellation: $3,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $100,000
    • Baggage coverage: $500/item up to $2,500
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Make sure you're covered in case your planned trip unexpectedly goes awry.
    • Trip cancellation: $1,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $25,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $1,000
    • Trip interruption: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Customizable coverage that can give you peace of mind when traveling to popular or remote destinations.
    • Trip cancellation: $1,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $50,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $2,000
    • Trip interruption: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info

    Don’t avoid those immunizations

    You must undergo certain immunizations before you can travel through some countries. Ask a doctor before traveling so you can be made aware of any precautions you should take. Malaria pills are a prime example if you are visiting Asian countries close to the tropics where the malaria carrying mosquito is common. Even if immunization is expensive, you must prep yourself before traveling.

    Don’t drink tainted water

    In many countries overseas their water is highly contaminated. You might see locals drinking it, but they have built up an immunity to its impurities. Be very careful what you drink or you could end up quite ill. If bottled water is not available, you should boil the water first – or resort to chlorine tablets.

    Make room for a small medical kit

    Your basic medical kit should contain a supply of painkillers, hand sanitizers, band aids, as well as any prescribed medication you may have to take. It is a good idea to take enough prescribed medication with you to last your entire trip no matter where you will be traveling. Pharmacies might not be as readily available and you might need to visit a local doctor in order to get medication prescribed to.

    Documents are important in proving who you are

    Your personal identification documents proving that you are a US citizen entitled to be in a foreign country should always be on hand. Make copies of all your documents and put these copies in a safe place where you can always grab them if required, take another set with you as a back up while you travel.

    The type of documents you will need to take with you include the following:

    • Emergency contacts. This list could contain friends you know in the country you are visiting, the US Embassy in that country, and contacts back home so that your identity can be verified.
    • Insurance policies. Especially your travel and health insurances.
    • Accommodation details. You should have addresses and phone numbers, booking details, dates and payment confirmation of where you are staying.
    • All your travel plans. This should include flights, booking references, dates, times and payment confirmations.
    • Your passport. Guard this intently along with your visa’s that give approval for you to enter the relevant countries you are visiting while away from home.
    Did you know?

    The government provides a service that lets citizens notify the closet US Embassy or Consulate about their trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is free and can contact you in the event of an emergency, get you in touch with friends or family and offer general safety tips.

    Covering your tracks

    Before leaving, make sure you have someone visit your home daily to remove mail building up in your mailbox, take care of your pets and turn a light on at night. This could be a relative or a friend, but you could arrange to pay a neighbor a small amount to help you out.

    Kyle Morgan

    Kyle Morgan is a producer for finder.com who has worked for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He can be found writing about everything from the latest car loan stats to tips on saving money when traveling overseas. He lives in Asbury Park, where he loves exploring new places and sipping on hoppy beer. Oh, and he doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

    Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.
    Go to site